Gizmodo posted a story today on how Acer is on the verge of toppling Dell in market share standings and on route to becoming, after HP, the world's second largest computer.
The question that naturally comes to my mind is: can Apple learn a few tricks from Acer in order to increase it's marketing position as well?
As the 'Giz' points out, it's largely because of it's recent acquisitions such as eMachines, GateWay, Packard Bell, that have contributed to Acers rise. Of course, they also point out that it's also due to it's high sense of vision and it's high sales, in a low economy, of cheap netbooks, that have now enabled the Asian giant to be able to seriously threaten Dell's second place standing.
But what about Apple?
Can it too repeat Acer's success and begin to also threaten Dell, HP and even Acer itself for market position? Certainly, but another question would be at what price to Apple's image and it's bottom line? With it's various priced brands, Acer is going after the low, middle and the high ends, where Apple, on the other hand, is clearly known as a high end company, and one with high end quality products. I personally fear that, by going the same route that Acer has taken, it would also seriously threaten to dilute not only Apple's image, but also what is the very envy of the whole industry - it's wildly successful profitibilty.
As far as lower pricing goes, Apple has already begun a move in that direction by recently slashing prices on it's new and improved MacBook line of laptops and signs point that it will soon do the same for it's desktop lines. Maybe Apple will never stoop to the level of Acer and begin producing and selling, for next to nothing, those ever popular netbooks, but the trend is obvious - cheaper Mac's are a must in this dreary economy of ours.
On the acquisition side, if Apple ever where to decide to go that route, then it's not only in great shape, it's in absolutely fantastic shape. Apple just happens to have one of the world's largest pile of cash just sitting in the bank. With close to some $30 billion dollars in it's war chest, and virtually no debt, Apple is in the enviable position of being able to do what most other companies, including Acer, could only hope and dream of doing when it comes to acquisitions.
Apple, of course, has gone the acquisition route before, with acquisitions such as PA Semiconductor and FingerWorks. Apple, however, is a very conservative company and that includes it's approach on acquisitions. It's very picky when it comes to spending it's money as it should be. After all, it's been rumored, in the past, that Apple was about to gobble up Disney, Sony, Universal music, Tweeter, Nintendo and seemingly a million other different companies, both big and small, but nothing ever did happen in regards to any of them, so I don't take much salt in any rumor of any possible Apple take over. Still, with that huge pile of cash, well, it's certainly a very intriguing and interesting possibility to consider.
When it comes to Acer's vision, well Apple already has that in spades, so the question really is, does Apple really need to try to become the third, second, or even the number one seller of pc's? After all, just look at the reality of these companies - they all sell far more computers than Apple, yet none of them make anywhere near the kind of profits that Apple does ! In fact, most of them make little or any money at all. Dell, for instance, sells far more computers per quarter than Apple does all year, and yet, in spite of that, Apple still manages to bring in more than twice the profits of Dell does over all!
So, in conclusion, can Apple really learn a trick or two from Acer? Of course, they can,just as Acer and others can and have already learned from Apple itself. I'm just not sure, however, if it's all that important or necessary for Apple to be seen as one of the top three of four computer companies in the market, and that goes especially if getting there means that Apple has to lower it's standards and it's profitability in order to do so.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, June 29, 2009